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The 3 Most Valuable Friends of Effective Leaders

“The greatest gift of leadership is a boss who wants you to be successful.” – Jon Taffer

Effective leadership begins and ends with people. I heard someone say, “I would rather lead a fully automated organization so I wouldn’t have to deal with people,” to which I responded, “that would certainly make you a good technician, but not a leader.” Sam Walton said, “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”

I have learned that to be an effective leader, you must value people, add value to people, and leave a legacy of valuable people behind you. I have found that the most Effective leaders accomplish great things by being acquainted with three most valuable friends, they are wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

1) The Value of Wisdom

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” ― Francis Bacon,

Wisdom, in its simplest form, carries the idea of the correct application of knowledge. Wisdom is discerning and insightful, valuable assets to any leader. Wisdom comes with experience because it takes time to see the outcome of your work; wisdom always stands the test of time.

Aside from the continuous value that comes from experience gained, wisdom teaches you to first invest heavily in yourself. Becoming a student of life is the wisest investment you can ever make. Wisdom always brings lifelong learners the highest ROI always giving you more to offer others.

Wisdom Listens to People with Experience Humility is the first sign of wisdom. Since no one knows everything, you must take on the role of a lifelong apprentice, allowing more seasoned successful people to mentor you. Learning from a credible mentor gives you stability and credibility, which leads to influence.

Wisdom will Bring the Right People and Things into Your Life I’ve watched those who mentored me consistently utilize wisdom by a) Strategically drawing up the right action plans at the right time. b) Assembling the right people with the right skills to accomplish the plan. c) Instilling the right values in team members to develop the right culture that reflect those values, it’s a game changer.

2) The Value of Knowledge

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” -Theodore Roosevelt

Knowledge Can Change How You See Things Knowing how to add value to people is everything; ask yourself, how well you know your people? What are their needs, wants, and desires? It’s true that we really won’t know a person until we walk in their shoes. John C. Maxwell says, “I knew what to give my people when I learned to think from their perspective.”

Knowledge Can Be Used to Know and Value People Leadership isn’t so much about knowing things as it is about knowing people. Maxwell said when he knew a person was insecure, he instilled confidence in them. When he knew a person needed to be understood, he intently listened to them. When Maxwell knew a person needed to express themselves, he asked them for their thoughts on things. Knowing people for who they are is infinitely more valuable than memorizing information or learning the latest techniques.

3) The Value of Understanding

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” – Albert Einstein

Understanding Can Bring Self-Awareness Socrates is quoted as saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The only way to gain understanding is first to understand ourselves, which begins with honest self-examination. Uncovering the “why” behind how we think, communicate, and conduct ourselves brings self-awareness and better communication.

Understanding Can Make You a Better Leader The Law of Awareness states that “You must know yourself to grow yourself.” As a lifelong learner you’ll achieve steady growth, think better and clearer thoughts. Self-awareness gives the capacity for deeper thinking and reflection, which allows you to communicate and connect with people on a deeper level.

Understanding Can Help You Connect with People Understanding yourself enables you to connect better with your family, friends, and the members of your team. Connecting allows you to speak with people instead of at them. You’ll have more empathy, valuing them for who they are. You’ll be expressing yourself with greater clarity. General Motors CEO Mary Barra remarks, “People will do the “what” if they understand the “why.” Make it your highest priority to develop yourself. Utilize wisdom, knowledge and understanding, you’ll be multiplying your effectiveness and becoming a better person because of it.

“The voice of wisdom speaks to those who are listening, while knowledge and understanding are found by those who search for them.” - JSP

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